Design New England

Great Design Goes Green at Circle Furniture

sm speakersb.jpg

Advocates of keeping style high and environmental impact low were our speakers (from left) Owen Kantor, Stephanie Birchenough, John Day, and Sally Grant.

There’s no doubt that “Green” is no longer a movement — it’s an unavoidable factor in all things, and design is no exception. That much was evident at last night’s Design New England Design Salon at the new Circle Furniture showroom, 31 St. James Avenue, Boston, where designers, trade professionals, and homeowners gathered to hear what authorities in the field had to say about incorporating green elements into great design.

sm IMG_8839b.jpg

The audience found the assorted seating in Circle Furniture’s showroom on St. James Avenue a comfortable venue for the speakers’ presentations.


Our first speaker was John Day, principal at LDa Architecture & Interiors of Cambridge, Massachusetts. A LEED-certified designer, Day revealed the myriad ways that a high style home can have green integrity, inside and out. There are things that have become almost conventional over the last few years such as solar hot water systems, low- to zero-VOC paints, and LED lights, and my personal favorite the elegant oversized shower with body jets that are high pressure yet low flow. That’s the kind of “green” element I could get used to.
Sally Grant of ECO Structures Inc., a boutique residential building company based in Norfolk, Massachusetts, was second. Grant’s knowledge of green practices is extensive and she clearly understands that it is important to her clients to preserve a sense of personal style and high design when employing green techniques. She advised the audience to check out the Database of State Incentives for Renewable Engery at, where government incentive and rebate programs for using green practices in building are listed.
Next up was Owen Kantor of Runtal Radiators, a Swiss company with a US manufacturing division and showroom in Haverhill, Massachusetts. If you’re unfamiliar with Runtal, trust me: these ain’t your mother’s radiators. The indisputable star of the Runtal lineup is the Runtal Towel Radiator, which not only serves to conserve energy in the home by allowing the bathroom to be heated separately from the rest of the house, but also allows the ultimate luxury of stepping out of the shower into a cozy warm towel. Talk about a win-win.

sm IMG_8802b.jpg


The Circle Furniture team graciously welcomed guests.

Finally, Stephanie Birchenough of Circle Furniture expounded on the company’s various green practices and offerings. Birchenough is in charge of merchandising so, needless to say, she’s an expert on all of the product lines. Much of Circle’s furniture is made of recycled or sustainable materials inside and out from the frames of chairs made with recycled steel to soy-based cushions to water-based adhesives to fill made from recycled plastic bottles. You can literally rest easy that your Circle Furniture is made responsibly!
Thanks to all who joined us last night, and congratulations to the lucky winner of a Circle Furniture gift certificate. We hope you’ll join us for next week’s salon at Roomscapes Luxury Design Center in Rockland, Massachusetts. Visit here for more information:

Jump To Comments


This discussion has ended. Please join elsewhere on